Head of the Class
Jose Alejandro inducted into American Academy of Nursing
Jana Harris, a 1999 exercise science graduate, was on campus in March to discuss career options with students in the Society of Kinesiology Scholars. Now the president/ chief executive officer of Harris Packaging Corp., Harris says her UTA degree proved invaluable in her career, “I wanted to open their minds to other options,” she says.
Since graduating from UT Arlington in 1998, Jose Alejandro has built an impressive résumé, earning two master’s degrees and a doctorate.
But for Dr. Alejandro—a nursing professor at El Centro College in Dallas and a nursing consultant—UTA is never far from his mind.
“UTA gave me the foundation for everything I’ve been successful in, from being involved with professional organizations to having mentors who really valued their mentorship and made every effort to make sure that we were successful,” he says. “I’m very loyal to UTA.”
One of those Maverick mentors, Professor Emeritus Mary Lou Bond, nominated Alejandro to the American Academy of Nursing. Also nominated by Angie Milan, past president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Alejandro was inducted into the academy in 2014 and is now a fellow for life. The academy seeks nursing professionals who’ve made a national impact.
In July 2014, Alejandro wrapped up a two-year term as president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. While at the NAHN, he reorganized the group’s business model, which translated into growth in membership, influence, and revenue.
“I think we need to do more to encourage Hispanic youth to go into nursing at an earlier age,” he says.
Encouraging young Hispanics to consider nursing is his passion. He believes nursing groups should begin reaching out at the elementary school level. Only 4.8 percent of nurses are Hispanic, and only 11 percent of all Hispanic nurses are male, according to minoritynurse.com.
While at UTA, Alejandro was a founding member of what is now the Hispanic Student Nursing Association.
“I see an extremely bright future for Hispanics in nursing,” he says. “The growth potential is there.”